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UK Stocks - Factors to watch on Jan 12

Source: Reuters - Tue 12th Jan 2010

Britain's top share index is seen opening 3-6points lower on Tuesday, tracking slight weakness in Asia, with investor confidence dampened by anxiety over the outlook for fourth-quarter earnings after Alcoa's results fell short of expectations.

The UK blue chip index is seen opening around 0.1 percent weaker after it ended 0.1 percent higher on Monday having retreated from stronger gains earlier in the day.

British retail sales values rose 4.2 percent on a like-for-like basis in December, and 6.0 percent when new store space was included, in what the British Retail Consortium said on Tuesday was a better-than-expected Christmas.

British house price growth slowed in December with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' monthly house price balance falling for the first time since prices hit a low point in February.

Britain's economy may have exited recession in the final three months of2009, the British Chambers of Commerce said on Tuesday, though its latest survey showed it was a close-run thing with the services sector still in decline.

Investors will watch trade balance data for November at 0930 GMT for other clues to the extent of how quickly the UK economy is recovering from recession.

But with little else in the way of economic data to watch this week, the focus will be firmly on the outlook for corporates, with Alcoa's disappointing results introducing some investor jitters.

"Many are now worried that the early miss by Alcoa could be the theme of what is likely to be a fairly mixed and crucial earnings season" said James Hughes, market analyst at CMC Markets.

* China data helps Wall St, Alcoa falls late

* GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks down on China policy fears

* Nikkei hits 15-mth high on China boost; JAL bid down

* Oil dips below $82 from 15-mth high as cold eases

* Dlr up but whipped around by China comments

* Copper slips after cautious Chile price assessment

* Gold mostly unchanged, currency moves eyed

* TREASURIES-Gain in Asia on stocks, auctions eyed

UK stocks to watch on Tuesday are:


The British confectioner will issue its penultimate defence document against Kraft's hostile bid on Tuesday which will emphasise strong Christmas sales and an improving outlook for 2010, the Daily Mail said.

Also, Italian chocolate maker Ferrero is very close to taking a decision on whether to launch a counterbid for Cadbury, in tandem with U.S. group Hershey, a source close to the operation said on Monday.

And The Times said two major Cadbury shareholders have refused to meet with the chief executive of Kraft, Irene Rosenfeld, unless the U.S. firm ups its 10.5 billion pound offer for the confectioner.


BP overtook Royal Dutch Shell in market capitalisation for the first time in more than three years on Monday, the Financial Times said, as the oil rival's fortunes contrast.


American Airlines and British Airways believe U.S. government recommendations for them to divest flights in certain transatlantic markets to secure permission to deepen their ties are unworkable and unnecessary, the carriers said on Monday


Germany and GlaxoSmithKline agreed to a cut in the country's order for GSK's H1N1 flu virus vaccine, Bild newspaper reported, without citing sources.


The chief executive of Britain's biggest bookmaker, Chris Bell is to step down this year after nearly 20 years with the company, various newspapers reported.


The supermarket group releases a trading update.


The retailer releases a trading update.


The company releases a trading update.


The company releases a Q1 trading update.

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